February 14th, 2013
The National Organization for Marriage is touting it’s latest public relations ploy, a poll of Rhode Island voters about whether the legislature should treat all citizens equally. And, as usual, it’s all just a game.
They set the stage with a question about whether participants approve of Governor Chafee (he’s not very popular but he’s the face of the marriage movement) and then come the relevant questions:
5. Have you heard or read anything in the news recently about the issue of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island?
6. Recently the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted to redefine marriage to include two persons of the same sex. A resolution has been introduced in the Senate to allow the people to vote on the definition of marriage. Which of these two positions do you think is correct: do you think the definition of marriage should be decided by the voters of Rhode Island, or should it be decided by the Rhode Island General Assembly?
20% general assembly
7% don’t know/no response
7. Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: “voters in 35 other states have been able to vote on the definition of marriage in their state, and Rhode Island voters deserve the same opportunity.” Do you …
60% – Strongly agree
18% – Somewhat agree
10% – Somewhat disagree
8% – Strongly disagree
4% – Don’t know / no response
8. Regardless of how you feel about the issue of same-sex marriage, should the Governor and General Assembly consider making same-sex marriage legal while there is an economic crisis in our state, or should the economic crisis be dealt with first before the issue of same sex marriage is considered?
31% – First statement
55% – Second statement
15% – Don’t know / no response
By now many of you are laughing. It’s all a bit too obvious.
Never once does the National Organization for Marriage ask voters whether they support marriage equality or even if they support the specific bill before the legislature. I can only assume that the don’t dare because they know the answer: Rhode Islanders support equality.
Instead NOM pits legislators “redefining marriage” against voting rights. Them untrustworthy scoundrels vs The People.
But the truly amusing part isn’t even their push poll language. It’s NOM’s sample.
As it turns out, NOM doesn’t report their age demographics using the standard voter breakouts. But by using the 2004 voter demographics and making some estimations, we can get close enough.
For Rhode Island
18 – 39: voters 31%; NOM 13%
40 – 49: voters 19%; NOM 16%
50 – 59: voters 19%; NOM 37%
60 plus: voters 31%; NOM 34%
So even though half of Rhode Island voters are under 50, only 29% of NOM’s sample is in that range.
And now let’s look at faith. By coincidence, Gallup released today a listing of states by order of those who find religion to be important in their daily like and who attend church every week or almost every week. Rhode Island weighed in at forty-fifth with only 29% being very religious.
But NOM’s sample was, shall we say, a bit more devout.
26% of NOM’s sample goes to church 1 to 3 times a month, 22% makes it 4 times a month, and another 9% make it 5 or more times a month.
So yeah, NOM’s doing it again. I guess they’re polling religious retirement communities and thinking that represents the state’s voters.
But it just must be depressing as Hell at NOM headquarters. Even after trying to get their participants hyped up about their right to vote; even after fears about a bad economy, still a third of their doddering church ladies still want the legislature to vote for equality now.
It makes you wonder, do they go home at night and cry?
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